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15 Reasons Why You Should Adopt a Retired Racing Greyhound

Updated on August 23, 2015
Why should you adopt a greyhound, you ask? There are SO many reasons why!
Why should you adopt a greyhound, you ask? There are SO many reasons why! | Source

Forty-five MPH Couch Potatoes


Before my husband and I made the decision to adopt a greyhound, our perception of the breed was the same as other people who have never had the pleasure of taking one into their home: they are "too big", "too fast", and "probably mean".

I'm so delighted to say that we were terribly, terribly wrong.

#15: "Cockroaching"

Some greyhounds like to sleep in a position lovingly called "cockroaching". This is when greyhounds lie on their backs with their legs in the air, giving them the appearance of a dead cockroach. It's silly and adorable to witness, and the greyhound will give you a big, upside-down grin.

So much NOSE for you to love.
So much NOSE for you to love. | Source

#14: Needle Noses

Greyhound noses are long, slim, and look similar to deer noses. Instead of going to feed deer at a game ranch, you can feed your greyhound by hand and get the same experience! A greyhound's nose not only looks adorable, but it's used as a tool to nudge and nuzzle.

#13: Soulful Eyes

Greyhound eyes are lined with black, as if they're wearing doggy eyeliner. Not only are these eyes huge and warm, they can see up to a mile away! Also, greyhounds have a 270 degree range of vision, meaning they can see behind themselves.

Greyhound ears have a life of their own.
Greyhound ears have a life of their own. | Source

#12: Crazy Ears

Greyhound ears are like water: ever-moving and unpredictable. While running, greyhounds pin their ears to their head to make themselves more aerodynamic. When greyhounds are interested, their ears are large and open, pointing upward. When relaxed, greyhound ears point any way and every way possible.

#11: Super-Friendly

Greyhounds are normally seen wearing muzzles, leading people to believe that they're mean and dangerous. The truth is greyhounds wear muzzles during races so it's easier to see which dog won during a close race, and because 45 miles per hour is a dangerous speed for hanging-open mouths. Greyhounds are generally very kind, and don't like conflict (which is why they'd make poor guard dogs).

Have you adopted a greyhound and are wondering what to name him or her? Look no further! Here is a giant list of over 100 fun and unique dog names! Choose an awesome name for your new friend!

#10: Beautiful Colors

Greyhounds come in many different colors, including fawn, brindle, red, and black. Sometimes, their fur is a combination of different patterns, giving each greyhound a unique look. Greyhound fur is a work of art!

Click thumbnail to view full-size
This brindle sweetie melts hearts.White and brown greyhounds.This unique greyhound is all dressed up.Beautiful grey.If clouds could be slim and adorable.Our very own red greyhound Major Ray.
This brindle sweetie melts hearts.
This brindle sweetie melts hearts. | Source
White and brown greyhounds.
White and brown greyhounds. | Source
This unique greyhound is all dressed up.
This unique greyhound is all dressed up. | Source
Beautiful grey.
Beautiful grey. | Source
If clouds could be slim and adorable.
If clouds could be slim and adorable. | Source
Our very own red greyhound Major Ray.
Our very own red greyhound Major Ray. | Source

#9: Built Like Skyscrapers

Greyhounds are lanky, slim, and tall.

Their noodle-like limbs may appear silly at first, but it's a blessing once you realize that you don't actually have to bend over to pet them. If you're surrounded by pets who take advantage of having you do all the bending, it might be time for a refreshing change. Adopting a greyhound as a companion will give your back a rest!

#8: Couch Potatoes

Greyhounds are called couch potatoes for a reason: they're very low-energy dogs. However, because people usually only see greyhounds at the track pounding the dirt with their paws, they're thought to need constant activity. In reality, these gentle giants love to nap, cuddle, and laze about the house. Walking your greyhound several times a day is all he or she needs; no marathons required.

Source

Quick Greyhound Facts:

  • 270 degree field of vision
  • Can reach speeds of up to 45 mph
  • Sometimes let out "screams of death"
  • Muscular greyhounds find it uncomfortable to sit, so they just lay down instead
  • Muzzles are for close races at the finish line and to protect the dogs from excitement, not because they're ill-tempered
  • Greyhounds love cozy spaces so they don't need a huge house
  • They're sprinters, not endurance runners
  • Generally have less odor than other breeds
  • Their skeletons can't handle excess fat, so "fattening" them up is a terrible idea
  • Highly addictive to adopt

#7: Giraffe Necks

Greyhound necks are long, strong, and ready for you to scratch and cuddle. It's a proven fact that wrapping your arms around a greyhound's neck makes all the day's stress melt away.

#6: Pleasant to Touch

Greyhounds have very low-maintenance fur. Since their fur is short, it only takes brushing or wiping with a damp towel to groom them properly. You'll never have to worry about trimming hair from their eyes, or untangling their tail fur.

#5: Second-Fastest

Greyhounds are the second-fastest land mammal at top speed! Not only does this make playing fetch (in a very secure, closed-off field) tons of fun, but it's awesome to see their bodies turn from lazy couch potato to a sleek, efficient machine in three strides.

Normally, the little guy is a total bum. Major Ray gets him outdoors more often.
Normally, the little guy is a total bum. Major Ray gets him outdoors more often. | Source

#4: Gets You Active

Greyhounds love to be outside, especially if they've had a long racing career and have only been locked in a crate during their down time. Hiking, jogging, rollerblading and anything having to do with nature are just ten times more fun with a greyhound by your side. You may eventually become just as sleek as your greyhound and have fun doing it!

#3: Stalking

Greyhounds are social animals. They love to be in the area where their humans are and, since they're sight hounds, they always like to keep their family members in their sight at all times. If you're feeling a bit lonely, your greyhound will literally always be there to check up on you and give you tons of attention. It's not uncommon for greyhound owners to go to the bathroom only to have their nosy dogs burst in on them during important business.

When cute turns creepy.
When cute turns creepy. | Source

#2: Dress-Up

If you're clutching at your skin because you're freezing, your greyhound could probably use a sweater, too. These sweet giants don't have undercoats. If you're a fan of crocheting, or just dressing up your pet, you'll like having a greyhound. Not only do they wear sweaters and turtlenecks, they also wear snoods to keep their ears and long necks warm!

#1: Adopting Changes You For the Better

Greyhounds, especially retired racers, need love, patience, firmness, confidence and kindness. Because their lives are a bit different than other breeds, they are innocent children at heart. While introducing your hound into your world, you may find yourself growing more patient and understanding because of your new pet. Things that you take for granted will be presented to you at a different angle, such as climbing stairs, having fresh water to drink, and taking walks outdoors. Things that gave you stress before may be banished to the far reaches of your mind as that space is filled with your greyhound's love.

Retired racers usually go through a "shock" phase at first, where they're confused about the changes that are happening in their life. However, when your grey warms up to you, it's the most rewarding feeling in the world.

You may think that you're the only one doing the teaching, only to discover that you're learning and growing along with your new friend for life!

Tips for First-Time Retired Racing Greyhound Owners:

Adopting a retired racer is no walk in the park, but the rewards are well worth it. Here are a few things to remember:

  • Retired racers usually have never seen stairs in their entire lives. While every hound is different, having a partner to help you out will facilitate the process.
  • Nervous greyhounds tend to pant heavily, have drippy noses, and/or seem to "shut down". Don't take this personally. It can take anywhere from a couple weeks to half a year to adjust to a new family, way of life, and household.
  • Don't approach your greyhound quickly while he or she is sleeping. Racing greyhounds are used to sleeping solo, and rarely get touched during rest.
  • Use a firm but calm tone when reprimanding. Set your boundaries early. Greyhounds like to have a strong, gentle leader to follow.
  • Don't hug your hound around the neck, go face-to-face, or crowd the back and rump too closely until you're absolutely sure that he or she has fully acclimated.
  • Greyhounds are sight hounds, and they get very attached to their family, meaning separation anxiety is quite normal. When you're leaving the house, crate your hound so that he or she doesn't chew on blinds or window sills.
  • Do NOT free-feed your hound. Restrict water after dark or else you'll be waking up in the middle of the night for business breaks.
  • Greyhounds tend to eat fast now and chew later. Use a slow feeder to make sure that your hound doesn't eat too fast (especially since this breed is prone to bloat, or twisted stomach, a life-threatening condition that is second only to cancer in dog deaths).
  • Another way to prevent bloat is to never feed your hound anything that can expand in the stomach. Only feed all-natural food made of ingredients that are easy on the stomach and don't promote bloating.
  • It has been hard-coded in this breed to chase little animals that move fast. Don't be angry at your dog for wanting to chase a cat or a squirrel.
  • Always keep a leash on your hound outdoors. You won't catch your greyhound if he or she decides to run after a chipmunk.
  • Retired racers are pretty unfamiliar with vehicles whizzing past them. Take extra care and keep a short leash while walking next to a busy street.
  • If your greyhound isn't responding after multiple times calling his or her name, try quick hand motions. Since they're sight hounds, greyhounds sometimes tune out repetitive sounds.

Did you learn anything new about greyhounds?

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  • NornsMercy profile image
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    Chace 3 years ago from Charlotte, NC

    @Eiddwen -- thanks for reading and voting! :D

  • Eiddwen profile image

    Eiddwen 3 years ago from Wales

    A wonderful tribute to such a great dog.

    Voting up for sure.

    Eddy.

  • NornsMercy profile image
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    Chace 3 years ago from Charlotte, NC

    Thank you for your beautiful story, Compliance Doctor! I wish for everyone to be able to feel the way that you do because, like you said, a person hasn't truly lived until he or she has grown and loved such an amazing dog. :)

  • Compliance Doctor profile image

    The Compliance Doctor 3 years ago from Los Angeles, California

    Love your hub! You have me going back into time, a time where I was 12 years younger and adopting my first Greyhound, Jacob. Jacob, he was a strong black giant. Yet, he was so eager to please you and be loved...it breaks my heart when I think of the conditions these god's gifts have had to endure for the mere sake of corporate profit. My aunt and uncle in Kentucky ended up adopting several over the years because of Jacob and his wonderfulness. The middle size greyhound, known as the Whippet, is another amazing creature. Same characteristics, gladly Whippets are not raced and have not been for many, many years. Some of my fondest memories becoming an adult living in California are my many nights and many days of laying in bed, reading a good book curled up beside me on one side, my whippet, LEO and on the other side, my pride and joy Jacob. Which neither could begin to be at ease unless they were both literally laying on top of me...., sadly they are gone now. Leo died at the age of 20, Jacob not too much sooner than he. They both live on in my heart forever, and I would say to anyone out there thinking about adopting one of these creatures, you have not lived this life on earth until you know the profound joy of having a greyhound as a true human companion. With tears running down my face, I pause to remember their inner beauty, their loyalty, and their one desire of only to please and love you. Don't you wish the rest of our world, countries, and battles within our own states, would it not be nice if we all could learn from these precious beings and realize that love is what it is all about? Thank you for taking me to this place this evening, I needed the cleansing. Love and Peace.

  • NornsMercy profile image
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    Chace 3 years ago from Charlotte, NC

    @bisnar6665 -- you won't regret it :) they're awesome!

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    Astlyr 3 years ago

    Yeah, They rescued them, and put them in adoption, they even pay airplane tickets so they can get adopted for free in Germany.

    90% of Greyhounds go there, it seems they are greatly appreciated, which is no wonder.

  • bisnar6665 profile image

    John 3 years ago from Irvine, California

    I have this strange uncontrollable urge to run out and get a greyhound! I've always loved animals and greyhounds sound like they would make a wonderful new member of the family.

    Good hub! Voted up!

  • NornsMercy profile image
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    Chace 3 years ago from Charlotte, NC

    @Astlyr -- I'm happy people go and rescue them, then! I know these bony guys wouldn't survive outside in the winter.. ;(

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    Astlyr 3 years ago

    I love Greyhounds!

    Sadly in my country they are used for hunting,so when the hunting season is over, some hunters abandoned them in the forest.

    So a lot of people go to the forest at the end of hunting season to rescue them.

    Now there's new laws, regarding animal abuse and abandonment, and more people making sure they are being followed, so news like these are more rare.

  • NornsMercy profile image
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    Chace 3 years ago from Charlotte, NC

    @kansasyarn -- thanks for reading :) and I'm happy to hear that!

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    Teresa Sanderson 3 years ago from Rural Midwest

    Beautiful hub! I learned so much!

  • NornsMercy profile image
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    Chace 3 years ago from Charlotte, NC

    @prettynutjob30 - thanks so much for reading and sharing! I want to spread the word about these gentle giants as far as possible :)

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    Mary 3 years ago from From the land of Chocolate Chips,and all other things sweet.

    I love these beautiful creatures, I knew a woman who used to raise greyhounds. She said a lot of the hounds she took in had been mistreated and had hip trouble but that they where the most loveable dogs ever. Great tribute hub to a beautiful breed of dogs, voted up and shared.

  • NornsMercy profile image
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    Chace 3 years ago from Charlotte, NC

    @JessBraz -- that sounds like an adorable mix :) it's cool you learned a new thing about your Baby!

  • JessBraz profile image

    JessBraz 3 years ago from Canada

    Lovely Hub!

    I don't own a racing greyhound- but my dog, Baby, is half Italian greyhound (I believe they're just smaller versions of the racing greyhound) and half pekignese... Kind of an odd mix... but she's a cute old girl.. I loved learning about the "cockroaching" !! My dog does that all the time! I thought she was just weird. lol...Anytime she gets up on my bed, she does that.. I never knew it was a trait of her breed.. You taught me something about my own dog!

    Cheers!

  • NornsMercy profile image
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    Chace 3 years ago from Charlotte, NC

    Tedwritesstuff -- I promise you won't be disappointed! :)

  • NornsMercy profile image
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    Chace 3 years ago from Charlotte, NC

    Thanks for reading, pgupta! :)

  • TedWritesStuff profile image

    Ted 3 years ago from The World

    Love greyhounds, they are such big sooks! Adorable. If I stay in place long enough one day it is the dog I will get for myself!

  • pgupta profile image

    pgupta 3 years ago

    What a beautiful hub. Now I know that I can too keep a grey hound.

    Thank you very much for this informative hub.

  • NornsMercy profile image
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    Chace 3 years ago from Charlotte, NC

    And thanks for reading, Toytasting! :)

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    Toy Tasting 3 years ago from Mumbai

    Thank you so much for sharing this interesting information, NornsMercy! Congratulations on HOTD, Well deserved. Cheers!

  • NornsMercy profile image
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    Chace 3 years ago from Charlotte, NC

    Thanks so much, precy anza! I really appreciate you reading and sharing :)

  • precy anza profile image

    precy anza 3 years ago from San Diego

    Wow, I did enjoyed reading this and learning about the interesting facts about this breed of dog is awesome. :) Up and shared!

  • NornsMercy profile image
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    Chace 3 years ago from Charlotte, NC

    Thanks for stopping by and voting, heidithorne! :) also, thanks for the work you do for the animals!

  • heidithorne profile image

    Heidi Thorne 3 years ago from Chicago Area

    Since I'm on the Board of Director for an animal shelter foundation, I so appreciate you spreading the rescue message! A friend of mine has adopted greyhounds and they are amazing creatures. Voted awesome!

  • NornsMercy profile image
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    Chace 3 years ago from Charlotte, NC

    @wayne barrett -- Absolutely! I completely agree. Thanks for reading, fellow dog lover :)

  • wayne barrett profile image

    Wayne Barrett 3 years ago from Clearwater Florida

    Wonderful message. As a dog lover I take this article to heart. They need us...but we need them too!

  • NornsMercy profile image
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    Chace 3 years ago from Charlotte, NC

    @newfyworld -- Thanks :D Greyhounds snuck up on me as well! I went on and on about labradors until greyhounds came into the picture!

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    newfyworld 3 years ago from out in the Boonies

    I was always dreaming of getting a Huskie... But now I sort of want a Greyhound as well! Awesome article. :D

  • NornsMercy profile image
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    Chace 3 years ago from Charlotte, NC

    Thank you, ComfortB! :) You'd be doing them a huge favor if you did recommend a grey for them! They'd be happy with one in their home.

  • ComfortB profile image

    Comfort Babatola 3 years ago from Bonaire, GA, USA

    Beautiful dog, Major Ray!

    I've never really been around a Greyhound dog before. So, I had no idea about their nose features. And though I'm not looking to adopt a dog, I will definitely consider recommend a greyhound dog to anyone looking to adopt. Congrats on the HOTD award.

  • NornsMercy profile image
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    Chace 3 years ago from Charlotte, NC

    @LisaKoski -- Ooh, yay! I promise you won't regret it if you adopt a greyhound, especially if it sounds like the breed matches your personality/energy level. :)

  • LisaKoski profile image

    LisaKoski 3 years ago from WA

    I've been without a dog for over a year and can't wait til I can finally adopt one (which might finally be coming up here pretty soon). I'd never considered a greyhound but they sound like they might be the perfect breed for me. Thanks for sharing!

  • NornsMercy profile image
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    Chace 3 years ago from Charlotte, NC

    Thanks, Dreamhowl :D I promise you won't regret it if you choose to adopt one!

  • Dreamhowl profile image

    Jessica Marello 3 years ago from United States

    The greyhounds come to my store for adoption every so often, and the more they come the more I think that I might want one someday. Thanks for the awesome information! Voted up.

  • NornsMercy profile image
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    Chace 3 years ago from Charlotte, NC

    @jburley -- Thank you so much :) He has changed me into a better person and I'm totally in love with him!

  • jburley profile image

    jburley 3 years ago from Florida

    I absolutley loved this Hub. So entertaining. Wonderful pictures, full of information. I can tell you love, enjoy and take great care of your pooch, and it appears feelings are mutual. Can't wait to read more of your work.

  • NornsMercy profile image
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    Chace 3 years ago from Charlotte, NC

    Thanks, phildazz! :) That's my dream for this hub! If even one greyhound gets saved and brings joy to the life of a family I'll be the happiest person on the planet.

  • phildazz profile image

    Allan Philip 3 years ago from Toronto

    Very useful and well written Hub. You've done justice to the greyhound. I hope your Page gets a ton load of internationally views cause the greyhound is such a mild tempered dog. Thanks for the insight.

  • NornsMercy profile image
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    Chace 3 years ago from Charlotte, NC

    @eurozulu -- Thank you :) Some greys need a long time before they can relax a bit...such a shift in lifestyles! And thank you SO MUCH for adopting and saving lives!!

  • NornsMercy profile image
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    Chace 3 years ago from Charlotte, NC

    @RTalloni -- Thanks for reading! I'm happy that this article was informative, as I believe these dogs can be misunderstood. Unfortunately, retired racers aren't for everyone, as they need loooooots of guidance. :)

  • NornsMercy profile image
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    Chace 3 years ago from Charlotte, NC

    @Keeley Shea -- Thanks for reading! While I can't force you to get a greyhound... GET A GREYHOUND!! I'm kidding. ;D Or am I...?

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    Chace 3 years ago from Charlotte, NC

    @thehaplesshostess -- Thanks for reading! I'll let Ray know with a head scratch that his big grin brightened someone's day. :D

  • NornsMercy profile image
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    Chace 3 years ago from Charlotte, NC

    @Sunshine625 -- That sounds so sweet. They really ARE so gentle! :)

  • NornsMercy profile image
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    Chace 3 years ago from Charlotte, NC

    @PagesbyPatty -- A house with four?? I may be moving in! ;) I think most people see them as a sport animal and not as pets, so euthanasia doesn't seem like such a big deal. If more people adopted these guys, they'd fight to save them, too! :)

  • eurozulu profile image

    bradley brown 3 years ago from Harrow Middlesex

    Great HUB lovely insight, well done on HOTD, my parents neighbours adopted a 2 year old greyhound about eight months ago really nice dog very timid but they are so glad they have him, i have adopted dogs before and will again, nice sharing post.

  • RTalloni profile image

    RTalloni 3 years ago from the short journey

    This info is so interesting and I appreciate getting a clearer picture of these animals. We know a couple of people who rescue them, but my experience with the situations was not good. I instinctively knew it was the owners' causing the problem, not the dogs, but now I understand more. I've tried to tell myself that at least someone adopted these dogs, but there have been moments… Thanks much for more insight into the dogs' behaviors and congrats on your Hub of the Day award for an important and insightful hub!

  • Keeley Shea profile image

    Keeley Shea 3 years ago from Norwich, CT

    I have been very into dogs lately and I hope to have one again very soon. This article has opened my eyes to a breed I would have never considered. Great hub! Thank you for this great information on Greyhounds!

  • thehaplesshostess profile image

    BG 3 years ago from PA

    :-) Seeing your pooch's smiling face this morning was an instant day-brightener. Thank you for sharing that, and for this wonderful article!

  • Sunshine625 profile image

    Linda Bilyeu 3 years ago from Orlando, FL

    I have two neighbors who have adopted racing greyhounds and it's always a pleasure to see them out and about for their daily walks. They are the most gentle dogs in the neighborhood. While other dogs are barking and chasing squirrels, the greyhounds just watch :)

  • Pages-By-Patty profile image

    Pages-By-Patty 3 years ago from Midwest

    Love, love, love your advocacy for adoption! And this is such a well-written hub on the subject of Greyhounds!

    I have in-laws who currently have 4 retired racers (their 5th recently passed) and they can attest to the fact that adopting them is addictive!

    Thank you for highlighting the joys of animal rescue. If more people opted to adopt, we could become a No Kill Nation!

    Congratulations on Hub of the Day!

  • NornsMercy profile image
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    Chace 3 years ago from Charlotte, NC

    Thanks, FlourishAnyway! Greyhounds are definitely heart thieves :)

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    FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

    Absolutely beautiful hub so jam packed with information. If someone doesn't love greyhounds after this read, they have a hard heart. Well done.

  • NornsMercy profile image
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    Chace 3 years ago from Charlotte, NC

    @ Maria Cecilia -- You'll love your greyhound! :) They're great.

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    Maria Cecilia 3 years ago from Philippines

    Nice hub about Greyhound.. this is my dream breed, I wish to have a greyhound someday...

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